The U.S. Space Force (USSF) would receive $15.2 billion under the $696 billion fiscal 2021 defense spending bill approved by Congress as part of a government appropriations package, reflecting its first budget as a separate military branch, SpaceNews reported Tuesday.
The $2.3 trillion omnibus bill includes operations, maintenance, procurement, research, development, test and evaluation program lines for USSF, but the service branch's military and civilian workforce funding lines would remain under the overall USAF budget.
Congress reduced the Department of Defense's (DoD) funding request for the procurement of National Security Space Launch services by $44 million to roughly $996 million, and based the decision on contract saving estimates for the second phase of the NSSL program.
The spending package would provide $1.4 trillion to sustain government operations throughout the current fiscal year and another $900 billion to fund coronavirus relief efforts that include a reimbursement extension for federal contractors.
Eric Fanning, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, applauds Congress' move to extend Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act along with the Payment Protection Program.
“Aerospace and defense companies of all sizes continue to support the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic—aided by relief provided early in the crisis," said Fanning, a 2018 Wash100 awardee.
"The extension of Section 3610 and the Paycheck Protection Program will help companies large and small continue to protect the health and wellbeing of their workers as they support U.S. national security and the pandemic response," he added.